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Palmer Luckey to host Trump fundraiser in Southern California

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Palmer Luckey, Founder @ Oculus VR Andutil Industries, during day two of Collision 2019 at Enercare Center in Toronto, Canada.

Stephen McCarthy | Sportsfile | Getty Images

Former Facebook and Oculus executive Palmer Luckey will host a fundraiser for President Donald Trump at Luckey’s Southern California home this weekend, according to an invitation viewed by CNBC.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s “Victory” campaign will hold the event in Orange County at “The home of Nicole and Palmer Luckey” on October 18th, the invitation states. Tickets range from $2,800 per person up to $100,000 per person. It also includes Ric Grenell, the former acting director of the United States National Intelligence agency.

The fundraiser comes just weeks before the Nov. 3 U.S. election, with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Trump trying to raise money in the last stretch of their campaigns.

Neither Trump’s campaign nor spokesperson for Luckey responded to requests for comment.

Luckey is best known for founding virtual reality company Oculus, which Facebook bought for $2 billion in 2014. He grew controversial after his political contributions and financial support of far-right groups were reported by The Daily Beast in September 2016. He reportedly made a $10,000 contribution to a pro-Trump organization called Nimble America during the 2016 presidential election, which funded advertisements calling for the arrest of candidate Hillary Clinton.

Luckey later claimed he was fired from the social networking giant in 2017 for “no reason at all” but said he suspected it had to do with backing a pro-Trump group. His support of Trump made Luckey one of the few right-leaning executives in the heavily-Democratic leaning tech industry.

After leaving Oculus, Luckey started his current company Anduril with a mission to build cutting-edge defense technology for the U.S. government. Based in Irvine, California, Luckey’s startup made Anvil, a quadcopter that can fly 100 miles an hour and was purchased by the U.S. military to be tested by special forces soldiers. The company secured a $1 billion valuation in September 2019, CNBC reported.


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‘Who the hell elected you?’ Big tech CEOs grilled in US Senate hearing – video | Technology

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Republican and Democrat lawmakers grill the CEOs of tech giants Twitter, Facebook and Google in a hearing about a federal law protecting internet companies from legal liability for content generated by its users. While Republicans focused on disinformation and the ‘censoring’ of Donald Trump, Democrats accused their rivals of politicising the hearing, while also questioning the mechanics of the platforms that promoted content they deemed divisive

Republicans use congressional hearing to berate tech CEOs and claim Trump is ‘censored’


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Mark Zuckerberg gives Facebook employees all of Thanksgiving week off

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Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris, France.

Chesnot | Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is giving all U.S. employees the entire week of Thanksgiving off, according to an internal message he sent on Wednesday night. The move is meant to reward employees for the work they’ve done during “unprecedented challenges,” and could help bolster morale after the company’s moderation policies have come under fire from some employees.

The note says that all employees around the world will get an extra three days off — either Monday Nov. 23 through Wed. Nov 25, or other days for particular teams or geographical regions.

“The idea here is to give as many people as possible a break. I hope you can disconnect and take the time to rest and recharge before the final push of the year,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Facebook has faced an unusually tumultuous time internally. All employees have been working remotely since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, and the company has instituted a wide range of policies around misinformation and political posts over a politically charged summer and in the run-up to the U.S. elections next Tuesday.

In May and June, employees grew upset after Facebook decided not to remove a post from President Trump saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reference to widespread protests over the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. Facebook later restricted how and where employees could express political views on internal message boards.

More recently, the company has rolled out a string of new policies related to the election, but has sometimes struggled to enforce them consistently, or to explain that enforcement to outsiders. For instance, earlier this week, the company allowed the Trump campaign to set up an ad implying he had won the election, in direct contradiction to Facebook’s rules, then justified the decision by saying that the precise wording of the ad — “President Trump is STILL your president” — would be true until January even if Trump loses.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to defend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields online platforms like Facebook from liability over material their users post, and allows them to moderate content without fear of legal retribution.

Facebook reports Q3 earnings on Thursday.


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Samsung Q3 2020 earnings, forecasts weak demand amid competition

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A South Korean flag, left, and Samsung Electronics flag fly outside the company’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, on July 5, 2019.

Jean Chung | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Samsung Electronics on Thursday said it expects a decline in profit in the three months that will end on Dec. 31 due to weak memory chip demand and intense competition in the smartphone and consumer electronics.

The world’s top smartphone maker announced a 59% year-on-year jump in operating profit to 12.35 trillion Korean won (about $10.89 billion) for the July-September quarter, which was in line with earlier guidance. Samsung said it was partly due to a boost in demand for smartphones and consumer electronics — sale of smartphones, including new flagship models like the Galaxy Note20, saw a near 50% jump in sales.

Samsung shares fell 1.19% in early trade, tracking the overall decline in the South Korean market where the Kospi index was down 1.27%.

“Looking ahead, Samsung Electronics expects profit to decline in the fourth quarter amid weakening memory chip demand from server customers and intensifying competition in mobile phones and consumer electronics,” the company said in a statement.

Low prices for memory chips used by servers in data centers are likely to weigh on the main profit-making semiconductor business in the last three months of 2020. Demand for chips used in smartphones, personal computers and graphics processing units, used for gaming consoles and PCs, is predicted to rise, Samsung said.

The mobile business will potentially see smartphone sales decline, according to the South Korean tech giant. But the displays unit, which counts Apple as a customer, is set to see a significant rise in mobile panel sales from the third quarter due to new smartphone launches.

For next year, Samsung predicted a recovery in overall global demand but said uncertainties will remain over the coronavirus pandemic.


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